MP welcomes East Devon future vision re-think

EAST Devon MP Hugo Swire has welcomed planning bosses’ planned ‘re-appraisal’ of house-building and job creation estimates in the district until 2026.

EAST Devon MP Hugo Swire has welcomed planning bosses’ plotted ‘re-appraisal’ of house-building and job creation estimates in the district until 2026.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) will ‘review’ its controversial future vision for the region and towns like Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary.

The authority’s draft Local Development Framework Core Strategy proposed 16,400 new homes for East Devon in the next 15 years. More than 100 campaigners descended on EDDC’s Knowle headquarters in Sidmouth in November to protest against the plans.

Mr Swire said this week: “My concerns about over development in our part of the world are well known. I congratulate EDDC for responding to local peoples’ concerns and undertaking to look again at this contentious issue.”

“It is not just about how many houses we build but what sort of houses and where they should be built. Affordability for local people remains a priority; it is still almost impossible for a young couple setting up home for the first time to find anything remotely affordable. And then there is the issue as to the pressures on our local infrastructure from new developments, our schools, hospitals, GP surgeries and our overcrowded road network.

“The coalition Government’s approach, through the new Localism Bill, is designed to give local people more of a say in what happens in their communities. That means an end to instructions coming down from Whitehall telling us what we have to build. While I do congratulate EDDC on its review I urge my constituents to keep up the pressure on them.

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“Of course we need some development but equally we want to keep our green and pleasant land free from the inappropriate and over development which has blighted so much of our country already.”

Plans earmarked 250 new homes in Sidmouth and the creation of 12 acres of employment land.

Blueprints for Ottery suggested 250 dwellings and seven-and-a-half acres of employment land.

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